There are 2 layers of misdirection within this piece the first of which is the unfolding icosahedron and the second the blending of 2 perspectives, both of which I did not set out to make but combined so well to create something very different than I had done before. My initial idea was to find a way to satisfyingly fold down an icosahedron however once I accomplished this it felt a bit lacking as a whole which is where I added the change of perspective, inspired by one of my favourite pieces of cinematography – “the mirror shot” from the film Contact. If you do not know it, look it up on YouTube and you will see where I’m coming from.


The first part of my self-imposed puzzle was the folding (and unfolding) main form, which is actually an optical illusion as it would be impossible to fold an icosahedron in the way I have as it doesn’t have a uniform internal structure of equilateral triangles. I did not let that stop me though. I first took a standard icosahedron and deleted all the polygons, keeping just the points. I then added one extra point at the centre of the form, this would be my bridging point to essentially rebuild the polygonal structure of the shape allowing me to blend between the rotation positions of each unfold – no rotations or complex matrix mathematics just simple blend shapes.


There are two animations for the icosahedron, one with it unfolding and another with it folding back up. Mid way through the sequence the forms are switched (the misdirection), I just had to ensure the texture mapping was consistent between both forms so that the switch can not be seen. The camera move was probably the easiest part of the whole thing, just a couple of rotating pivots for the camera around leaving me change the surrounding scenery without the viewer noticing- mush easier to do when they are focused on watching the folding mechanism.


© 2021 Mark Lindner